Can eating certain foods really boost your fertility? The answer is yes. It’s important to remember that there is no magic diet that will result in pregnancy, but food and lifestyle choices do have a significant impact on the reproductive health of both women and men. The foods you eat, along with other factors like lifestyle and stress levels, can boost fertility through their impact on your gut, blood flow, hormone levels and overall health.
Laurel Fertility Care offers a holistic approach that includes many natural adjustments like diet and lifestyle changes before moving on to advanced treatment. Here are 10 foods to incorporate into your diet to boost your fertility.
1. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are high in fiber and protein, which can help improve ovulation. Studies have shown that replacing animal protein with vegetable sources of protein can reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility. Both of these legumes are also an excellent source of folic acid, a vital component that aids with conception and helps in healthy embryo development.
2. Sunflower Seeds
Eating sunflower seeds is an easy way to help maintain proper sperm levels without making any huge dietary changes. Roasted, unsalted sunflower seed kernels are rich in Vitamin E, an essential nutrient that increases sperm count and motility. Sunflower seeds also offer substantial amounts zinc, folic acid, and selenium— all of which are potent fertility nutrients with stellar benefits.
Antioxidant-rich foods like fruit and berries are high in vitamin C and folic acid, which provides healthy fetal growth after conception. Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries all contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, two components that greatly improve fertility for both men and women. This study showed that women with high fruit intakes had a significantly reduced chance of infertility.
Avocados are full of Vitamin K, potassium and folate that assists your body with so many things— vitamin absorption, blood pressure regulation and more! They are also comprised of monounsaturated fats (healthy fats) that offer tons of dietary fiber and folic acid, which we know are crucial during the early stages of pregnancy.
Quinoa is an amazing whole grain because it’s not only carb-free, but it’s also a perfect source for protein, zinc, and folic acid. Altogether, these components offer a robust prenatal protection plan, while maintaining healthy fetal growth once pregnancy takes place. Not to mention, quinoa gives you all of the essential amino acids that meat products offer without any potentially harmful additives.
6. Greek Yogurt and Cheeses
Fatty foods are great for boosting fertility. Greek yogurt and cheese contain calcium, probiotics, and vitamin D, all of which help improve ovulation. Also, you’ll receive an ample amount of protein from each food, reinforcing your odds of a successful pregnancy through more precise ovulation cycles.
To pile on more of those healthy fats, salmon offers loads of protein and valuable omega-3s that improve fetal development throughout pregnancy. Men can also benefit from eating salmon for its high levels vitamin D and selenium, two components that raise semen levels and enhance its overall health. Keep in mind, it’s best to purchase wild-caught salmon to decrease the presence of mercury, which can be harmful to a pregnancy if too much is consumed. To be safe, limit your salmon intake to once or twice a week.
Asparagus is a powerhouse food with incredible benefits for those trying to get pregnant. Studies show that eating one cup of boiled asparagus will provide you with over 60% of your daily recommended value of folic acid, fulfill your daily vitamin K value, and strengthen your reproductive health with more than 20% of vitamins A, C, and B. It also contains substantial amounts of zinc and selenium, so men should also incorporate asparagus into their diet!
Walnuts are packed with omega-3s and omega-6s that help your body maintain healthy brain functions and regulate hormones. Research also shows that men who eat walnuts on a regular basis will experience improved semen health, resulting in a better motility, quantity and morphology.
10. Egg Yolks
Most people ditch the yolk of the egg to cut back on calories, but yolks contain vitamin B and essential omega-3s. Yolks also contain folic acid which helps the body create red blood cells and help to maintain embryo development after conception.
Making healthy choices and changes while on your fertility journey can help your stress levels and provide some control during a time when circumstances can often feel overwhelming.
While these 10 foods are recommended as a natural way to boost your fertility, we encourage each patient to practice balance in their diets! Extreme restrictions or punishing yourself for the the occasional indulgence in a bowl of ice cream or a slice of pizza is not beneficial to your mind or body while on this journey!
If you’ve got your pantry fully stocked, read our blog on 5 Things to Avoid When Trying to Conceive.